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Andrew Hawkins signs Browns offer sheet, Bengals now reportedly unlikely to match

85c159982056c3959ef2fe486da6b71a Getty Images

Earlier this week, the Browns extended an offer sheet to Bengals restricted free agent wide receiver Andrew Hawkins and reports indicated that the Bengals planned to match it.

Hawkins has now signed the offer sheet and more details about the structure have come to light. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that it is a four-year deal worth $13.6 million in total, which is a bit more than originally reported, and that Hawkins stands to make $10.8 million in the first two years of the deal.

That structure was surely concocted to make it difficult for the Bengals to match. The team has five days to match the offer or let Hawkins, who was tendered at the original round level, leave without any compensation in return.

Rapoport’s colleague Albert Breer reports that the Bengals have rethought their initial response to the offer sheet and that the team is now unlikely to match.

If that’s the case, it might mean the end of the Browns’ pursuit of Julian Edelman as Hawkins would take over both the slot duties and a fair chunk of monies devoted to wide receivers in Cleveland. With the Ravens, another rumored Edelman suitor looking like the favorites to land Steve Smith, that could push Edelman back to New England after hitting the open market for the second straight season.

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28 Responses to “Andrew Hawkins signs Browns offer sheet, Bengals now reportedly unlikely to match”
  1. micknangold says: Mar 13, 2014 1:52 PM

    Probably because Edelman isn’t good.

  2. pickensclause says: Mar 13, 2014 1:54 PM

    I like Hawkins, but 10.8m over the first 2 years?

    Cinci did the right thing not matching.

  3. thestrategyexpert says: Mar 13, 2014 1:57 PM

    They should still have enough room to match, and they have other moves they could do to create room. Matching isn’t an issue, wanting him or not at that price is all they need to determine.

  4. steelerben says: Mar 13, 2014 2:01 PM

    Is this the year that the Browns FINALLY return to respectibility? I hope so, because it is more interesting in the division when they aren’t a doormat. I thought last season was the begining of them turning the corner and they ended up firing everyone in the building, though. So, what do I know?

  5. crownofthehelmet says: Mar 13, 2014 2:05 PM

    I can’t keep up with all the people that are leaving the bengals. Had no idea 3 straight one-and-dones would wear on them so much.

  6. kosarkid says: Mar 13, 2014 2:14 PM

    Seems like a lot of money for someone who hasn’t really proved himself yet… This might work out for the Brownies but I’m guessing this is a reach.

  7. daltongang1 says: Mar 13, 2014 2:22 PM

    If Hawkins wants to go to that Dumpster Fire by the polluted Lake then let him. That is way too much money for a 4th wide receiver…. Hope he enjoys his 4 wins next year.

  8. thraiderskin says: Mar 13, 2014 2:25 PM

    I like Hawkins too, but Cindy doesn’t have the cap space to match 10mil for the first 2 years, smart move by the browns.

  9. tigerlilac says: Mar 13, 2014 2:28 PM

    “Probably because Edelman isn’t good.”

    Spoken like a true Jets fan. NFL insiders understand that Edelman is an excellent player, on the offensive side of the ball and on special teams. The question mark is his durability. Committing long contracts and guaranteed money to guys with injuries is tough. No one with a brain questions Edelman’s heart and effort. As a Patriots fan I would love to have him back and I am sure Brady would as well.

  10. wishingtonredslur says: Mar 13, 2014 2:28 PM

    4 years, 13.6 million, no guarantees, bet they grab Edelman too.

  11. bucfanforlife says: Mar 13, 2014 2:34 PM

    smith is going to new england

  12. bengalsbilly says: Mar 13, 2014 2:38 PM

    You can get a quick, small wide out in the later rounds of the draft for a lot less money. The draft pick may or may not work out as well as Hawkins, but that is a lot of cash for a guy that is a good special teamer and a part-time slot receiver. Maybe Cleveland can do more with him. I liked the guy and I hope he does well, except for 2 times a year.

  13. NoobTubeTV says: Mar 13, 2014 2:57 PM

    This is obviously a 2-year deal masked as a 4-year contract. If he can stay healthy and perform like he did AGAINST the Browns it will be a decent pick up.

    Still too much for a guy that is at best a #3 WR.

  14. meshnuts says: Mar 13, 2014 2:57 PM

    Dude was sleeping on a couch when the Bengals gave him a chance and now he’s worth 13mil Seriously? A few years ago no one wanted a Bengals player and now they’re giving absurd money to a part-time player, oh wait, its the Browns never mind!!!

  15. natigator says: Mar 13, 2014 3:18 PM

    As a Bengal fan, I am getting a bit frustrated. I realize the Factory of Infinite Sadness is over-paying Hawkings, much as I realize that the Bengals need the money to extend Green, Dalton (ugh), Burfict and so on………..

    However, losing Michael Johnson, Anthony Collins, and now Hawkins and getting none of the top free agents to even so much as give the team a sniff is distressing. The Bengals have plenty of holes to address to get that first playoff win in 25 years and now there are just more holes

    Cleveland is franchising out the Factory of Sadness to SW Ohio

  16. steeltothebones says: Mar 13, 2014 3:21 PM

    My franchise sucks

    #Steel4life

  17. oldschoolomen says: Mar 13, 2014 3:24 PM

    March 11, 2014 7:27PM PFT reports that the Browns offered Hawkins 4 years 12.2 million

    March 12, 2014 7:10AM PFT reports that the Bengals will match the offer to Hawkins

    March 13, 2014 1:50PM PFT reports that the Browns offer is 4 years 13.6 million and the Bengals are now unlikely to match

    13.6 million to a short (being generous), slot receiver and special teams gunner, who missed half of last season and just turned 28.

    Mike Brown playing chess while Cleveland plays checkers.

  18. whodeylifer says: Mar 13, 2014 3:46 PM

    Congrats to Baby Hawk! Make that money man. I ain’t mad at ya. We’ll see ya twice a year so you better bring it. #BattleofOhio

  19. audient says: Mar 13, 2014 3:47 PM

    Any time you can make your team stronger by also making a division opponent weaker, you do that. While Edelman was attractive, Hawkins is more attractive when taking him means also weakening the Bengals.

    The Browns still have a lot to do and a lot to prove, but just as Cincinnati quietly built a team and climbed to the top of the AFCN, Cleveland is doing the things it needs to do to be the next team heading up.

  20. bonniebengal says: Mar 13, 2014 3:56 PM

    Ugh. He is very difficult to cover. The Browns will use him the way he is supposed to be used. Good pickup for him. Bad loss for us.

  21. timmons94 says: Mar 13, 2014 4:50 PM

    Baby hawk gonna be golfing earlier this year

  22. oldcracker says: Mar 13, 2014 5:29 PM

    The Browns are trying to head in a positive direction, and with their recent history they have to pay a little more.

    In Ray we trust.

  23. sean222 says: Mar 13, 2014 6:43 PM

    Anything to get Greg “super ball dropper” Little out of the slot and back on the scout team works for me. 20+ the last 3 years is worth $5 million this year for a seldom used sure hand receiver.

  24. flushdownmikebrown says: Mar 13, 2014 6:59 PM

    teams lose by paying role players and some skill players

    their is a reason new england is always really good. they pay the franschise players, let others walk, draft well

    Bengals have finally done a good job of this lately. Sign dalton, green and burfict, let others walk

  25. cbonix says: Mar 13, 2014 7:01 PM

    As a Bengals fan, I’m not worried at all about the losses to free agency. Nor am I worried about the lack of activity by the team at this point. EVERY team OVERpays the 1st week of FA. The only steal I see was Philly getting Darren Sproles for a 5TH round pick! (where they do that at??) The Bengals are already deep in nearly every position. Keep building from the draft and you STAY deep. A clear case of spending money wisely and saving money on shedding contracts. They’ll start moving around during the 2nd and 3rd phases of FA. No worries.

  26. bensstinkyfingers says: Mar 13, 2014 7:16 PM

    The ben gals are letting the wrong players walk, the first guy they needed to dump or trade for a 5th rounder is Dalton. It’s pretty bad when average Joes such as myself can see that Dalton is not the guy who will get them to a superbowl, yet the management team of the ben gals keeps rolling the dice with this guy. Good luck winning the AFC North next season. The Browns will be rising to the top soon!

  27. inthezone4 says: Mar 13, 2014 7:31 PM

    Fingers knows nothing about football. Hawkins was 4th in line at wide out. I like the guy, but the browns are over paying this kid. The browns will be in the toilet next season too. They have no qb and no running game.

  28. slickwilliam says: Mar 14, 2014 12:40 PM

    Good for Hawkins. Dude went from driving a forklift to the cfl and now he’s a millionaire. Hard work and dedication pays off.

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